NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0346

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Program Information for 2016A-0346


PI: Fred Hamann, U. of Florida, fhamann@ufl.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, PO Box 112055, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL, 32611-2055 USA

CoI: David Rupke, Rhodes College
CoI: Todd Tripp, U. Mass
CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, U. of Maryland

Title: A Remarkable New Transient Outflow in the Quasar PG1411+442

Abstract: Quasar outflows are fundamental components of quasar environments that might play a larger role in providing feedback to host galaxy evolution. We obtained HST spectra in January 2015 of a known outflow quasar, PG1411+442 (redshift = 0.089), that revealed the remarkable emergence of a unique new transient outflow that produces MANY weak blended absorption "ripples" across the rest-frame UV. These ripple features have so far defied identification, but our subsequent observations with Gemini GMOS (June 2015) revealed many distinct absorption lines in the visible that we readily identify as HI Balmer lines, Na I, and excited-state lines of FeII and HeI. These lines have velocity shifts v ~ 1900 km/s (relative to the [OIII] emission line) and widths of only FWHM ~ 170 km/s. They appear to form in a small outflowing filament of mostly neutral/low-ionization gas that covers only ~20% of the continuum source but has an enormous column density of N_H > 10^23 cm^-2. This peculiar transient absorber is unique in quasar studies, but it might offer important clues to the general nature of quasar outflows and their interactions with the host galaxies. We request 1.0 hrs with Gemini GRACES to i) fully resolve the visible absorption lines to obtain better measures of the kinematics, covering fractions and physical conditions, and ii) constrain better the line variability timescales to estimate the absorber’s location, energetics and physical structure.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-N-SVC/GRACES -- 1.3hrs band 2 (GN-2016A-Q-56)


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0346

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